Sunday, 16 September 2018

1936 Framo Leiferwagen Prospectus

Jorge Rasmussen's Framo-Werkes had made its name manufacturing cheap tricycle delivery wagons. Following Rasmussen's sacking from Auto-Union in 1934, he turned his focus to Framo and initiated a series of budget car projects. These ultimately proved to be unsuccessful. Framo's tricycles were updated and a new series of four wheeled commercial vehicles were introduced. The four wheeled range was powered by a 500cc two cylinder DKW two-stroke engine, built under license. Framo offered a small sedan based on the same platform as their light truck. Few were sold however and in 1936, as part of the Schell rationalization program, Framo was instructed to cease all tricycle and personal vehicle production and were licensed only to produce their light truck.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

1934 Framo Stromer

Introducing the New Framo Stromer two seater car - the "Stromer."

"The Stromer is not a scaled-down vehicle with deteriorated performance. Framo's years of experience in tricycle development, including many experimental models undergoing years of testing on country roads were needed to create this perfect small car for the new era.

The Stromer, with its racy look, speed, convenience, and economy, is the perfect vehicle for the business man, the discriminating sportsman and the elegant lady. The car has impressively good handling characteristics, on curves, difficult road conditions and in the mountains."

"It is no exaggeration that the Framo Stromer is in every respect the best small car in the world and its characteristics have been secured by a number of foreign patents.

The car comes with options of a 200cc, 400cc or 600cc engine. There is a single chassis and body style for all models."

Monday, 10 September 2018


The Framo company was originally founded as the Frankenberg Metal Works factory by DKW founder Jorge Rasmussen, and his business partners, Paul Figura and Richard Blau. Originally housed in a disused military barracks, the factory turned out metal fittings for DKW motorcycles and cars. In 1924 the factory began building simple tricycle rickshaws powered by a single-cylinder, air-cooled 150cc DKW motorcycle engine. It was a very conventional machine but orders began to flow.

Similar in construction and conception to dozens of other delivery trishaws, such as the Brennabor and Tempo. It was manufactured from surplus DKW motorcycle and Lomo scooter parts.

Framo TV300
In 1926 the company developed a new, more substantial transporterwagen, the TV300. Largely constructed of wood with a rear carrying tray, it was powered by a 300cc DKW stationary engine mounted atop the single front wheel with a two speed gearbox. It retained tiller steering. A variety of body styles and engine sizes were offered. By 1928 the Frankenburg plant had built 1000 tricycles and employed some 700 people.

The TV was originally sold for a short time as the DKW Transportwagen, but DKW management objected so the name was changed to DGW. By 1928 the company settled on the name Framo as a contraction of Frankenberg Metalwerkes.

Framo LT300
In 1930 the transporter was modernised with a simple wooden cab and a three speed gearbox. Designated the LT300, it was still fairly primitive and retained its old fashioned tiller steering.

Framo LTH300
1933 the transporter was completely modernised receiving a more powerful engine, three speed gearbox with reverse and a fully enclosed cab. The LTH 300 'Liechertransportwagen mit haube' (light transport truck with cab) closely resembled its contemporaries and rivals - Tempo and Goliath.

An early model LTH. Tempo and Goliath dominated the tricycle market in Germany with Framo coming up a distant third. Tricycles with engines under 400cc did not pay road tax or require a drivers license.

An LHT passenger wagen. Customers were always able to order passenger versions of the three wheeled commercial vehicles.

Framo LTG500

A 1939 prospectus for Framo dreirads. "As strong as a bull... in a class of its own."

And meanwhile, over at DKW....
In 1932, DKW merged with Horch, Wanderer and Audi to form Auto-Union. With DKW the largest manufacturer in the group and contributing one half of the group's profits, Rasmussen felt that the managing directorship should be his by right, but soon found himself frozen out by the other board members. The State Bank of Saxony, which held the purse strings, stacked the Auto-Union board with its own nominees and had Wanderer's director of sales, Baron Klaus Von Ouertzen, named managing director. Tensions between Rasmussen and the Auto Union board became increasingly tense until in December 1933 he was summarily sacked. Rasmussen was not prepared to go quietly and his campaign against Auto-Union in the press and in the corridors of power resulted in him recieving a substantial settlement of 1.3 million Reich Marks.

Although he never stopped hoping for an opportunity to buy back his beloved DKW, Rasmussen was determined to continue building passenger vehicles and he would do so through Framo, which was not included in the Auto-Union merger. While Framo continued building the commercial tricycles that were its bread and butter, he established a research and development department to work on his vehicle projects.  

Framo Stromer
Rasmussen's first project at Framo was the Stromer - a highly aerodynamic streamlined three-wheeled budget vehicle. Built around a simple tube chassis, which was hollow and doubled as the exhaust. The car was front wheel drive, powered by a 200cc air-cooled DKW motorcycle engine, driving through a three speed gearbox with reverse. Although powered by a very small engine, the car was extremely light at only 300 kilograms unloaded, which allowed it to reach 60 KPH. The streamlined bodywork was constructed of wood covered with leatherette. It was priced at 1460 RM, which was slightly cheaper than a contemporary DKW.

The Framo Stromer on display at the 1933 Berlin Auto Show. The car was sleek and sporty, but the retention of a very conventional looking bonnet and false radiator screen used up valuable space in what was a very small car.

"This is the new Framo 2 seater personal vehicle - the Stromer!  The Stomer makes its way - whether the road is good or bad - in sunshine, rain and snow, up mountains and down valleys, is economical on fuel, undemanding maintenance and does not need garaging."

Being a three wheeler with a small capacity engine meant owners needed neither a drivers license or pay road tax - an important selling point - but unfortunately the tiny two-seater did not sell well, with only 360 cars sold in three years. Even the car's exceptional performance in the 1933 endurance trials failed to boost sales.

In a 13 hour endurance trial on 2 June 1933 the Stomer covered some 8819 kilometres.

Stromers on the production line. A quick comparison with the production line photos from DKW's Zwickau factory (here- ) highlights Rasmussen's challenge at Framo - Framo simply wasn't big enough to challenge the established companies. In 1933 the Army reclaimed its barracks at Frankenberg, forcing Framo to relocate to new premises in Hainichen. The Army allowed Framo to move their production in stages over several years.

Framo Piccolo
Rasmussen's plans to get back into the passenger car market received a boost from an unexpected quarter when, at the opening of the 1933 Berlin Auto Show, the newly elected Chancellor, Adolf Hitler, called for an automotive revolution in Germany. The government would embark on an ambitious program of road building and the motoring industry was challenged to build a people's car or 'volkswagen' to get Germany moving. The volkswagen would be a car that every Germany worker could afford.

The heads of the auto industry however were aghast at the idea. Vehicle design, development and construction was time consuming and expensive, and nobody really wanted to budget vehicle as there was simply no profit in it. The industry as a whole began to delay and dissemble, hoping that the whole idea would fade away. But for Rasmussen, now very much an outsider, this was a great opportunity. Several years earlier Rasmussen had seized on the theme of the budget motor car when he and the DKW team had designed and built the DKW F1 in only six weeks in order to present it at the 1931 Berlin Auto Show. The radical, front-wheel drive little roadster merged simplicity in design with pleasing style and it proved to be DKW's ticket to automotive success.

The DKW F1 debuts at the 1931 Berlin Auto Show. When released it was the cheapest conventional car on the German market and was many German families first experience of motoring. Despite its simplicity and budget price the car had several radically new features, not least being its front-wheel drive - the first in any production vehicle. It spawned a long lineage of front-wheel drive cars leading all the way to our modern Audi and Volkswagen cars.

Rasmussen pared the F1 design concept back to produce a real budget 'volkswagen.' The Framo Piccolo was a small four-wheeled car with a steel tube chassis and independent suspension. The single cylinder, 200cc two-stroke, air-cooled DKW engine was mounted in the rear, just ahead of the rear axle - the cutting edge of automotive design according to Josef Ganz of Motor Kritik. Final drive to the rear wheels was via chain through a three-speed gearbox with reverse.

It was inevitable perhaps that the Framo Piccolo resembled contemporary DKWs, given their common origin. The original model featured a coal scuttle bonnet as there was no radiator. The plaque trumpets "no drivers license necessary!"

Rasmussen presents the Framo Piccolo to Adolf Hitler at the 1934 Berlin Auto Show. Note that to save costs the car had no left hand door, only a single door opening on the right. Hitler was not impressed, describing the car as "not half a grape." Nevertheless, the international press saw the Piccolo as the embodiment of Hitler's Volkswagen.  As The Daily News, Perth, Western Australia reported, '"Every German should have a car," declared the Chancellor (Herr Hitler) in opening the Berlin Motor Show, a feature of which was a four-seater Framo car costing 60 pounds.' 10 March 1934.

Unfortunately for the German auto industry Adolf Hitler was deadly serious about his 'volkswagen' project and for the avoidance of any doubt about his requirements, he spelt them out explicitly at the 1934 Berlin Auto Show. The new car was to be of modern steel construction, should seat four adults comfortably, have a top speed of 100 kilometres per hour, and would cost no more than a 1000RM. The German people would not make do with second-rate baby cars, three-wheelers, and motorcycle engined plywood and leather contraptions. Rasmussen's Piccolo, which was priced at 1295RM, was summarily dismissed from the running.

Nevertheless, the Piccolo was a viable small car and did sell, if only in small numbers. Framo responded to market demand by increasing the size of the car, its engine, and even added a second door! The flat, coal scuttle bonnet was replaced by a false radiator grill taken from the contemporary DKW F2. 737 were sold before production ceased in 1935.

"At last, the long awaited people's car, the Framo Piccolo. 1275RM for a four-seater (seating two adults and two children). Each affordable!"

Framo Rebell
It was clear that the Piccolo was not the car that would make Framo's fortune and so work began on a totally new car project. But the Piccolo and Stromer designs were not simply abandoned. A Stromer inspired body was mounted on an extended Piccolo chassis and fitted with a larger motor. The new Rebell was a handsome, sporty, yet relatively low cost car. Unlike it's predecessors it was a conventional design with front wheel drive and Rasmussen's trademark two-stroke air cooled engine. Unfortunately this promising project did not progress past prototype stage.

Design study of the Rebell. As with other Framo vehicles (and contemporary DKWs) the bodywork was plywood covered with leatherette for weather protection. The seats were cloth on metal frame.

What could have been? The handsome Framo Rebell prototype driven by Jorge Rasmussen's son, Hans, now CEO of the company. Despite its promise, Framo was simply too small a company to build multiple vehicle lines at the same time, and cancelled the project.  Besides, there was another promising project in the wings.

The Rebell outside Motor Kritik's office. Josef Ganz's Tatra 11 is in the background.

Framo Volkswagen

After the debacle at the 1934 Berlin Auto Show, Rasmussen was determined not to make the same mistake again and threw the company's best and brightest into the new 'volkswagen' project. Jorge's son, Hans, and chief engineer Fritz Goritz worked on a completely new design. Mounted on a narrow track, ladder chassis (Goritz patent) and powered by a 500cc 18 horsepower DKW two-cylinder two-stroke engine with water cooling, the car featured a handsome, modern looking wood and steel body.

The stakes were very high as Hitler's patience with the German automotive industry had finally run out - in spectacular fashion. In a fiery speech at the 1936 Berlin Auto Show Adolf Hitler raged against car industry for their inability deliver "the cheap car" and threatened to nationalise the entire industry. It was apparent to everyone that the volkswagen would be a nationalised project, which meant an enormous opportunity for the designer who could deliver the goods.

While his son and Goritz were working on the car, Jorge was working the political angle. He traveled to the United States with Ferdinand Porsche to study the US automotive industry and learn the lessons of mass production. Rasmussen was well aware that Porsche was working on his own 'volkswagen' project and had the Fuhrer's ear. He was also aware that Porsche's project was being held back by technical challenges with the rear engine layout. Rasmussen felt certain that if he could get his car presented first, he would be in with a chance. At the 1936 Berlin Auto Show, Rasmussen personally presented the car to Hitler. Hitler however showed no enthusiasm and would later openly declare his support for the Porsche project. It seems that Hitler had greater rapport with fellow Bohemian Porsche, than with the Danish Rasmussen.

All plans and details of the Framo Volkswagen have since been lost. Only a handful of photographs of the single prototype remain.

Framo-Goritz Streamliner
Although the Framo volkswagen proved a failure Hans Rasmussen and Fritz Goritz continued experimenting on the design until 1938. Taking the narrow track chassis and fitting it with tandem seats and a torpedo shaped body to produce a totally space-age vehicle.

Hans and Jorge Rasmussen drive the Framo-Goritz streamliner chassis. Although space age in appearance it remained a budget car. The car's single cylinder, 200cc water cooled two-stroke engine is clearly visible in the photo.

Several versions of the car were built and presented to the Government for evaluation, much to their annoyance. The automobile association demonstrated the car's impracticality by assigning their tallest SS test driver to drive the car in a 12 hour endurance test. Needless to say the driver's report was less than complimentary. In 1938 the Schell Plan put a stop to all further passenger car development at Framo.

Framo commercials
While Rasmussen was unsuccessfully pursing his passenger car dreams, Framo continued manufacturing commercial vehicles. In 1934 Framo released its first four wheeled commercial, the HT600. Powered by an 18 horsepower DKW two-cylinder, water-cooled, two-stroke engine, it was capable of carrying a payload of almost a ton. 1200 were built between 1934 and 1937.

A larger version, the HT1200 was also built, powered by a 1.2 litre Ford four-stroke engine. Although capable of carrying a larger payload, it was more expensive and consequently less popular. Only 250 were built.

Framo V500 & V501
In 1938 the Nazi's implemented a comprehensive rationalisation of the automotive industry. The Schell Plan, named after its author Colonel Adolf Schell, determined which company could produce what. Framo's tricycle and passenger car production was stopped and they were permitted only to produce their new V500 and V501 light truck. Powered by a 500cc DKW two-cylinder, two-stroke engine, in either air-cooled or water-cooled versions. Almost 6000 were built during the war years and served with the Wehrmacht in all theatres.

By the time the war turned against Germany Jorge Rasmussen was living in retirement on his estate in Sacrow. When the Eastern Front collapsed in 1945, he and his family fled west, eventually settling in Flensberg on the Danish border, where the remnants of the Nazi government had established its ghost government. After the war he retired to Denmark.

Framo's Hainichen factories escaped war damage but was systematically stripped by the Soviet engineering corps. Every single item of value, right down to door frames and light switches, were removed, packaged up and shipped off to the USSR. Nevertheless, the factory struggled back into existence building hand carts, wheel barrows and horse drawn wagons. In 1947 some trucks were built from pre-war and war-time stockpiles of spare parts.

In 1948 the new East German government nationalised the factory, which was renamed IFA-Framo. In 1949 the first new trucks began rolling off the production line. The new model, the V900 was externally similar to its predecessor, the V500/1, but featured the new 900cc three-cylinder, two-stroke motor designed for the 1939 DKW F9. This engine was also used in the new IFA F9 which was also unveiled at the Leipzig Motor Show the same year. The engines were built at the former BMW works at Eisenach.

Between 1948 and 1957 Framo improved and enhanced the V900, such as improving fittings and increasing the horsepower of the engine. Production facilities at Hainichen were however limited so some production was transferred to a newly rebuilt factory at Chemnitz. Production of the V900 ceased in 1961 after some 29,000 had been built.

Barkas 1000B

1956 saw the release of a substantially redesigned variant of the Framo V900. Goritz' patent narrow track chassis was employed to allow a low floor platform, while the 900cc two-stroke engine was lowered and moved forward. The cab was also moved to a forward-control, cab-over engine position. The new van was named the Barkas (spark). The company was also changed from IFA Framo to VEB Barkas and a new company logo was established.

In 1961 the old Framo V900 was retired and the Barkas received a new 1000cc two-stroke engine and was renamed the Barkas 1000B. The Barkas would remain in production until 1991 as East Germany's sole light commercial vehicle. The Eastern equivalent of the Volkswagen Transporter, the Barkas was a remarkably versatile vehicle that could carry extraordinary payloads - up to four tons, far more than its little engine would imply! It came in a wide variety of body styles - minibus, enclosed van, drop sided truck, tipping tray - the combinations were endless. In 1990, Volkswagen bought into VEB and began replacing the two-stroke engine with a 1.3 litre four-stroke engine. Sadly the attempt to modernise the Barkas, like that of the Trabant, ultimately failed and VEB Barkas closed its doors in 1991.

The late model Barkas with a four-cylinder, four-stroke Volkswagen engine.

Information about Framo and Barkas in English is very scarce but they have dedicated followings in Eastern Europe in much the same way as the Volkswagen Transporter has elsewhere. Here are some links-

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Surviving DKW cars in Australia

Pre-War DKWs in Australia

Auto-Union's records reveal that 1290 DKW cars were shipped to Australia between 1935 and 1939. They sold surprisingly well given their unorthodox features. They were especially well regarded in the country where their robustness and minimal maintenance requirements were appreciated. The first cars to arrive in 1935 featured German built bodies, but Australia's high tariffs made them uneconomical as budget cars. Auto-Union overcame this by negotiating with domestic body-builders to body DKW's bare chassis. Separate companies bodied DKWs in each state to a general template, but with significant local variations. These variations from the Auto-Union template became a source of dissatisfaction at company headquarters due to the poor quality of some of the workmanship.

1936 DKW F5

Restored Cars Magazine featured two DKWs restored by Des Fullard in their July-August 2005 edition. This was his very fine and original condition F5, certainly one of the earliest surviving DKW's in Australia and possibly one of the first batch imported by R Williams in Victoria. The body is German styled with a smooth sweep along the doorline to the boot.

1936 DKW F7 roadster (South Australia)

Graham Shipton restored this 1937 DKW F7 roadster in around 2010. The car has since been sold but remains in South Australia.

1937 DKW custom racer

At the end of his roadster project (above) Graham had enough spare parts to build this custom racer using a shortened F7 chassis, standard 688cc two cylinder two-stroke engine and a custom aluminum body. Graham continues to race the car at the Winton Classic races in Queensland.

1937 DKW F7 (Victoria)

This chassis, engine and assorted panels was posted for sale on eBay in late 2015. It had been recovered by the seller's father in rural Victoria some 20 years earlier but he never got around to restoring it. Its current whereabouts are unknown.

1937 DKW F7 (Tasmania)

This roadster bodied F7 has recently come to light in Tasmania. It's in the process of being restored.

1937 DKW F7 (Western Australia)

This 1937 DKW F7 has spent its entire life with one Perth family. It was purchased in Busselton in 1939 and still has its original order paperwork. The original selling agent was Auto Union DKW Sales Ltd, 442 Murray Street, Perth. This company was formed in 1938 and wound up in 1942 by which time the remaining stock of DKWs would have been cleared.

Contemporary photo of the car shortly after its original purchase.

1937 DKW F7 Saloon (Western Australia)

This original condition DKW F7 saloon was purchased in 1976 in South Africa and transported to Perth with the intention of being restored. The body style is definitely German.

1937 DKW F7 roadster (South Australia)

DKW enthusiasts, Paul and Jill W found this DKW roadster in country South Australia several years ago.

The restoration was completed in mid-2016 and the car debuted at that year's Bay to Birdwood. It has also been featured in Restored Cars Magazine.

1937 DKW roadster (Victoria)

This roadster was posted for sale in Just Cars in 2016. Current status and location unknown.

1937 DKW F7 cabriolet (Victoria)

This DKW F7 is owned by one of the members of the Historic German Vehicle Register (formerly the DKW Club of Australia) and is regularly used at club events in Melbourne.

1937 DKW F7 (Northern Territory)

This DKW F7 roadster is being restored in Darwin. The owner intends to install a German built wood and faux-leather body supplied by a German DKW restorer.

1937 DKW F7 roadster (Queensland)

This roadster has come to light in Queensland. It was recently posted for sale on eBay as a package with the utility (below).

1937 DKW Ute (Queensland)

Sharing the shed with the roadster is this DKW utility and spare parts from another couple of DKWs

1937 DKW F7 (Queensland)

These two 1937 DKW F7's were featured in the May-June 2016 Restored Cars magazine #236.

1937 DKW roadster (Victoria)

The second car in the Restored Cars article (above) was unrestored but running and licensed. It was sold shortly after the Restored Cars article and is now in South Australia.

1937 DKW sedan and roadster (South Australia)
These two DKWs under a lean-to in South Australia appeared for sale on eBay in 2012. The seller intended to sell the sedan and restore the roadster themselves. I don't believe the cars sold at that time and their current whereabouts are unknown.

1937 DKW F7 sedan (South Australia)

This South Australian bodied F7 come up for sale in October 2017. It was advertised on Gumtree for only a few weeks before it was sold. Who purchased it?

1937 DKW F7 utility (Victoria)

This DKW F7 was given a utility body by coach-builders J.A Lawton and Sons in South Australia. It was restored in South Australia some time ago but now resides in Victoria.

1938 DKW F7 (Western Australia)

This wonderfully restored DKW F7 with canvas soft-top is possibly one of the last pre-war DKWs to arrive in Australia. The story is that a shipment of DKW rolling chassis arrived in Port Adelaide in 1939 shortly after the outbreak of the Second World War. The stevedores refused to unload the German cars so they were carried on to Fremantle in Western Australia. The Fremantle stevedores were not so fussy and the cars were offloaded and handed over to a local coachwork firm, Boltons. They installed steel bodies on the cars which were quite different in detail from the bodies manufactured by the official Australian coach builders.

1938 DKW F7 utility

This DKW F7 was given a utility body by dealers and coach-builders Kellow-Falkiner of Melbourne.

1938 DKW F7 sunroof model

This sunroof sedan was also bodied by Kellow-Falkiner in Melbourne.

1938 DKW F7 Coupe (Victoria)

Despite being mislabled as an F8 Meisterklasse, this is an F7 with an Adelaide built body. It is owned by a member of the Historic German Vehicle Register and was photographed at the German Auto Show in Melbourne in 2016.

1938 DKW F7 Special (New South Wales)

This special was constructed from parts with improvements for racing.

If the surviving pre-war DKWs tell us anything then it is that the roadster body was the most popular seller in Australia. These roadster bodies substantially differed from the German roadster version and were more similar to contemporary MG bodies.

Post-War DKWs in Australia

After the war there were high hopes that DKW would return to Australia, however, DKW were not in a position to begin exporting until after 1953. Regent Motors, DKW's primary agent in Australia, imported five 1951 DKW F89P sedans which they exhibited at the 1953 Melbourne Motor Show. Further sales however were not forthcoming due to import duties. A small number of Schnellaster commercial vans were however sold.

Five years later Standard Motors of Victoria, another of DKWs pre-war agents, imported 9 DKW F93s and an Auto Union 1000s, but by this stage Volkswagen had established themselves in Australia and were dominating the small car market. Standard's cars did not sell, pretty much bringing to an end Auto Union's attempt to re-enter the Australian market.

In 1992 the DKW Club of Australia believed that in addition to the above, the number of DKWs imported to Australia were as follows:
Up to 1958 - 92 DKWs privately imported;
1959 - 2 Auto Unions and 4 DKWs;
1960 - 2 DKWs;
1961 - 4 DKWs.

Known survivors include:

1951 DKW F89P Meisterklasse (Queensland)

This very early 1951 DKW F89P coupe is probably the oldest post-war DKW in Australia. It was part of a shipment of five DKWs sent to Australia to test the market and was possibly the DKW displayed at the 1951 Melbourne Motor Show. The car was featured in the Restored Cars article about Des Fullard's DKW collection mentioned at the top of the page. Unfortunately the car was left to deteriorate after Des' passing. It passed through several hands but is now in Queensland awaiting restoration.

1951 DKW F89L Schnellaster

This 8-seater bus was restored by 'Mr DKW' Bill Dean. It spent many years with the Dean family after Bill passed but has recently changed hands several times.

1951 DKW F89L Schnellaster

This very early DKW Schnellaster was part of a consignment of DKW vans purchased by Carpet Care. They were used as part of a corporate fleet for only about five or six years before they were replaced with more powerful vehicles. This, the only survivor, was found on a farm in Gippsland and restored by Ross Noble. For many years the car was on display at the Maffra Transport Museum.

1953 DKW F89P Meisterklasse (Western Australia)

This 1953 DKW F89P export-model was imported from Portugal and is now being slowly restored.

1955 DKW F93 Sonderklasse (Victoria)

This DKW on club plates was spotted in Muckleford, Victoria. Who owns it? By its radiator grill screen it looks like F93 Sonderklasse, the successor of the F91. DKW would shortly thereafter drop the Sonderklasse moniker.

1957 DKW F93 (New South Wales)

This 1957 F93 is a recent import from South Africa.

1958 DKW F93 (New South Wales)

This car was part of the well known horde of European cars from country NSW. After changing hands several times recently the car is now being restored by Craig S in Sydney.

1958 Auto-Union 1000 (Queensland)

This car was one of the original ten imported by Standard Motors in 1959 to test the market. None of the cars sold and all were eventually abandoned. The car was restored in the 1980s.

1958 Auto-Union 1000 (South Australia)

Jill and Paul of Adelaide's other DKW is this 1958 F93. This car was restored ten years ago and has since done 20,000 kilometers without missing a beat.

1958 Auto-Union 1000 (South Australia)

This Auto-Union 1000S is on display at the Goolwa Motor Museum in South Australia.

1958 DKW F94 Universal (Victoria)

This Universal, until recently languishing in country NSW, has been salvaged by Murray of Garagista in Geelong (along with a sweet Saab 96 stroker). I look forward to hearing more about the restoration.

1959 DKW F93 (New South Wales)

Willie S in Perth acquired this car from South Australia many years ago and restored it to showroom condition. For many years it was the only post-war DKW in Perth until I imported mine. The car was purchased by the Gosford Classic Car Museum in NSW when Willie downsized his collection in 2016.

1959 DKW F94 (Western Australia)

My car, a rare four door sedan imported from South Africa.

1960 Auto-Union 1000S (Victoria)

This Auto-Union 1000S with panoramic wrap around windscreen was an import from South Africa. It was in Queensland but has changed hands several times since the original owner passed away. It's now under restoration with an enthusiast in Victoria.

1960 DKW F89L 3=6

This 3=6 engined Schnellaster sat at the Melbourne Bus Museum for many years before it was eventually sold. It has apparently passed through several hands since and its current whereabouts and condition is unknown.

1960 Auto-Union 1000SP (Victoria)

This rare 1000SP has been widely traveled, having been imported to Australia from South Africa via New Zealand. It was rather inadequately restored in New Zealand with paint, panel and engine issues. The car was sold in early 2018.

1961 Auto-Union 1000/60 Universal

This rare factory right-hand drive Saxomat Universal was also part of the NSW horde. It has been salvaged and is currently stored awaiting restoration.

1962 Auto-Union 1000SP Coupe (Western Australia)

This rare DKW 1000SP coupe is another single family vehicle. It was purchased by the current owner's grandfather new in Germany and driven in Europe until the family migrated to Australia. It was licensed until the mid-1990s before being parked away. It's now undergoing restoration to get it back on the road.

1963 DKW Junior

This DKW Junior was part of the NSW European car horde. I believe it has been taken but do not know its current condition or whereabouts.

1964 Auto-Union 1000SP (Queensland)

This car in Queensland was imported from Switzerland. It was sold in early 2018 and its whereabouts are unknown.

DKW Munga - Victoria

According to The Ballarat there are two surviving Munga jeeps in a collection in town. The article mentioned that there were more in Victoria but most were sold, many going overseas.

Wanderers in Australia
Very few Wanderer cars were shipped to Australia but at least two are known.

1924 Wanderer W6.

Twelve Wanderer W6s were imported into Melbourne Australia in 1924 by the Wagner brothers. One car was used for sprints and racing as demo car, but sales were slow and some of the cars were never sold. The unsold cars were left in their crates in a factory till the early 1950's when the Wagner family decided to sell them. One of the cars was purchased by the Audi Museum in Germany for their collection.

This car was one of the unsold Wagner Wanderers is now owned by Chris T. It was in a country museum for many years owned by Diana Davison the wife of GP driver Lex Davison. It had 149 miles on the speedo. It's had a new end plate on the water pump, oil change and tune up and runs like a dream. The car is the oldest unrestored Australian Grand Prix car as it was entered in the 1928 GP at Phillip Island. It is still used in vintage racing events.

1938 Wanderer W25K roadster

Peter T is the proud owner of a very rare Wanderer W35K roadster. One of a handful worldwide and probably the only one in Australia.

Peter advises, "The car came to Australia in the 1950’s with a migrating Dutch family. It then went to a Geelong family (I believe he ran a car repair workshop). Along the way the original engine failed and was replaced with a Vauxhall engine. It then languished in a field under a pine tree for many years before it was eventually saved by DKW club member Bill Sheehan, about 35 years ago. Bill never did anything with it however, and it further deteriorated so a couple of years ago I persuaded him to part with it. The story was the original engine had been buried along with much other mechanical stuff in the garden of the Geelong property, but the family would not let Bill go and dig it up. When I bought the car I went around to family to see if I could convince them to let me dig in their garden. When I got there the house had been demolished and the land leveled by the Ministry of housing. I paid a large bond and hired an excavator and dug a meter of soil from the whole site and found one saucepan and one boot! I was forced to search in Germany for an engine. Unfortunately, while I managed to find a correct 6 cylinder 2 litre Wanderer engine, it is not the supercharged variety, but beggars cannot be choosers."

The engine is mounted in the rolling chassis. The engine was fully restored in Germany by members of the Wanderer club. Work on the project is progressing.

Horch cars in Australia
The only Horch cars to reach Australia are private imports by collectors. York Museum owner, Peter Briggs, owned a pre-Auto-Union 1932 Horch on display at his Fremantle Motor Museum in the 1990s but this was sold and taken overseas after the museum closed down. A 1935 Horch 853 cabriolet has recently arrived in Perth, where it is undergoing restoration. The car was purchased in the US.

Request for more info
There are many more DKWs and Auto-Unions out there and if you have any info or leads I would happy to hear from you. If you are one of the new owners of any of the cars mentioned that have changed hands, I'd be pleased to hear how you are you are going and offer what help and advice I can. There is a DKW club out there in the Historic German Vehicle Register of Australia. They do internet presence at the moment but can be contacted via this link: There are a small but dedicated network of fans who can assist you.